A Fun Science Activity for School or Home

Leaf Man Comes to Life

by Kelli Lewis

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Here is a fun science lesson geared toward students in pre-k, kindergarten, or first grade that is perfect for the classroom–or kitchen table. This lesson incorporates a hands-on activity, a good book (of course), and a healthy dose of fresh air and movement. Let’s get started!

Step One: Read

Find a good place to have story time and read Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert. This story about “Leaf Man” includes labeled illustrations of different types of leaves collected from various locations. After reading the book, discuss the story’s characters, setting, plot, etc. This will be a great way to review any concepts you may have been working on prior to today.

Step Two: Leaf Hunt

Now it is time to go on a leaf hunt! Allow your students to ramble around outside in order to find all different types of leaves to bring back inside. They don’t need to bring in every leaf they see, but they also will need more than just a few (10-15 is a good goal). Encourage them to collect a variety of shapes and sizes.

Step Three: Make Leaf Man

Create, glue, and bring him to life! Bring the students back inside with all of the special leaves they collected. They are going to make their very own leaf man. Hand out construction paper, glue and any other extra materials you may want them to use (googly eyes, pipe cleaners, pompom balls, etc.) Allow them to bring their Leaf Man to life! Does he have a name, other than Leaf Man? Does his name have anything to do with the attributes of the leaves?


• This could also become a sorting activity. When students get back inside with their leaves, you could all come together and discuss the leaves that were chosen. How are they alike and how are they different? Can anyone remember the names of the leaves in the story and figure out what their leaves are called?

• To adapt this activity for older grades, you could incorporate deeper concepts and details about leaves, plants and other studies of botany. They could also write a detailed story about Leaf Man, incorporating vocabulary from their science lessons. The options are almost endless, but I’ll LEAVE the rest up to you!

Kelli Lewis is a graduate student at the University of Georgia and a frequent contributor to A Learning Experience.

For another cool activity for teaching about plants, check out this classroom activity kit available at The School Box.



Filed under Activities, Art, creative writing, Reading, Science, Seasons, Writing

2 responses to “A Fun Science Activity for School or Home

  1. Connie

    Thanks Kelli! I loved using this story in first grade. I’ve never really thought about using it in 3rd until now. I love your idea of writing a story about the Leaf Man incorporating science vocabulary. I’ll be looking for my copy of the book and be waiting on Fall to arrive.

  2. peggy hernandez

    What a great idea! I can’t wait until Fall now. I love to go on leaf hunts with my students. What a great idea to use the book and tie in writing too. I can’t wait to do this activity next fall.